Four Courts Press 
New Catalogue
September 2005
55/45/$65 hbk

Red Hugh O'Donnell and the Nine Years War


The Nine Years War was the greatest challenge that Gaelic Ireland presented to the Elizabethan English state. The role played by the young chieftain, Red Hugh O'Donnell (1572-1602), in the Gaelic confederacy that fought this war, was crucial. Without him, the possibility of such successful and wide-ranging resistance to the expansion of English power in Ireland would not have possible.

This book represents a major reappraisal of O'Donnell's role. It is a study of how the abuse of power by English captains and officials led to the growth of anti-English sentiment in the lordship of Tír Chonaill and in O'Donnell's thinking itself, due in large part to his imprisonment in Dublin Castle. It is also a study in how the Gaelic lordships of Ulster proved themselves to be capable of military and political innovation, to enable their leaders to fashion a formidable confederacy which came very close to ending English sovereignty over Ireland.

Darren McGettigan is a graduate of UCD. While researching his PhD he was awarded a Government of Ireland scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

272pp September 2005